If you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, a clicking jaw, or difficulty opening and closing your mouth, then you may have TMJ disorder (also known as TMD). This condition develops when arthritis, dislocation, stress, or an uneven bite cause injury or strain to the jaw bone. Simple actions may become difficult or painful to complete, but our dentist can help by treating TMJ disorder.
With TMJ disorder, “less is more” is usually the best course for treatment. Some simple treatments that we may have you start with include:
- Eating softer foods
- Avoiding nail biting, gum chewing, or extreme jaw movements like yawning or loud singing
- Applying heat or ice packs to your jaw
- Using biofeedback or meditation to relax
If you have tried these treatments and experience no success, we may recommend other options such as:
- Exercises to strengthen the jaw muscle
- Wearing a night guard to stop teeth grinding while you sleep
- Replacing missing teeth (their absence may misalign your bite or cause strain on the jaw joints)
- Medication such as muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety drugs, or anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- Fixing an uneven bite with tooth reshaping or orthodontia
More extreme cases of TMJ disorder may necessitate surgery, but it is best to try the simpler treatments first to see if they can fix problems with the TMJ and give you relief. To learn more about treatment options for TMJ, call McKinnon Dental today.